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A risk assessment identifies potential hazards in your home if you’re a childminder. It is a legal requirement and you need to be able to show that you are aware of any risks and that you have plans in place to control and minimise these risks. Risk assessments take into account a large number of everyday things that may appear harmless or go unnoticed but could be dangerous if not recognised. Risks assessments should take into consideration a range of areas from the condition of toys and equipment to hygiene and cleanliness.

EYFS Guidance on Risk Assessments

Specific legal requirements

  • The provider must conduct a risk assessment and review it regularly – at least once a year or more frequently where the need arises.
  • The risk assessment must identify aspects of the environment that need to be checked on a regular basis: providers must maintain a record of these particular aspects and when and by whom they have been checked.
  • Providers must determine the regularity of these checks according to their assessment of the significance of individual risks.
  • The provider must take all reasonable steps to ensure that hazards to children – both indoors and outdoors – are kept to a minimum.

Statutory guidance to which providers should have regard

  • The risk assessment should cover anything with which a child may come into contact.
  • The premises and equipment should be clean, and providers should be aware of the requirements of health and safety legislation (including hygiene requirements). This should include informing and keeping staff up-to-date.
  • A health and safety policy should be in place which includes procedures for identifying, reporting and dealing with accidents, hazards and faulty equipment.

You will need to complete risk assessments for any outings you make or any regular trips to places such as parks and children’s centres. You can expect that children’s centres will have carried out their own risk assessments but you will need to consider how you would handle the children in your care if you were to leave to change a nappy and leave another one playing. In parks you will need to consider the safety of the fencing, play equipment, vehicles, dogs and exits and entrances amongst other things.

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